Bringing the farm to the dining halls

Photo: UIC Dining Services

UIC Dining Services is bringing the farm to the dining hall with new, eco-friendly Farmshelfs throughout campus.

The indoor, bookcase-size farms grow organic, fresh herbs and greens that UIC students can enjoy in their meals in campus dining halls. The six units are currently housed in the Stukel Towers dining hall and the East Terrace dining hall in SCE. They also are used for catered events on campus.

Farmshelf also brings sustainable benefits to campus. Since the plants are grown in-house, there is no need to burn fuel in transportation, lessening UIC’s carbon footprint. UIC also is minimizing the excess use of water on vegetation by 90%, as well as reducing packaging waste. The Farmshelf uses high-tech, energy-efficient LED lights that not only improve taste, but also maximize the nutrient density.

“The cooks love the new Farmshelfs and can cut crop such as arugula straight from the shelf,” said Sean Gordon, senior director of dining. “You can’t get any fresher than that.”

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